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GW Law Pro Bono Program Continues to Grow | Summer Subsidies Make Worthwhile Work Possible | GW Student Receives Fulbright Scholarship | Dean's "Matching Campaign" for Public Interest | Fellowship Created in Memory of Alumna

Public Interest

Eric Metallo, JD '03, makes introductory remarks to the students.

GW Law Pro Bono Program Continues to Grow

In the fall of 2001, GW launched its Pro Bono Program as a way of encouraging all law students to provide volunteer legal assistance during law school. The program has been a huge success, with nearly 150 students participating. This number is expected to keep growing. As an example of students' efforts that directly benefit the Washington, D.C., community, GW's Street Law group regularly sends its members to the nearby Francis Junior High School, where they teach local students basic legal principles, including constitutional and criminal law. Earlier this spring, Francis students visited the Law School's Jacob Burns Moot Court Room and conducted a mock trial (see photos).

Students' pro bono work extends beyond Washington as well. Many students have volunteered to assist with the Holocaust Litigation Project and review personal statements from holocaust victims and their relatives from all over the world. Vicki Franks, who will be a 3L in the fall, spent her recent spring break in Miami, where she stayed in a youth hostel and worked with the Florida Immigration Advocacy Center. During the week, she was able to meet with clients, attend an Immigration and Naturalization Service administrative hearing, and perform research about Nicaragua. Next year, the Pro Bono Program hopes to mirror Franks' efforts on a larger scale by sending a team of GW students on an "Alternative Spring Break."

Summer Subsidies Make Worthwhile Work Possible

The Law School's Public Interest Committee recently awarded approximately $100,000 in assistance to students performing valuable public interest work during the summer. Jared Fishman, JD '04, for example, received a $3,000 Reuben A. Zubrow Fellowship to assist him in working in Tanzania for the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Also, for the first time, the Law School created two new fellowships specifically for students who are assisting criminal prosecutors. In total, 66 students applied for the roughly 30 subsidies that are available.

Supplementing the Law School's efforts, GW's Equal Justice Foundation student group holds an annual spring auction at the Law School to raise money for summer public interest grants. This year's auction was especially successful, raising more than $26,000. The auctions would not have happened without the dedication of EJF students and the generous donations from alumni, faculty, and the Washington community. Donations included: lunch with Professor Stephen Saltzburg and the Fox News "Beltway Boys" Fred Barnes and Mort Kondracke; a baking class led by noted lawyer-turned-baker Warren Brown (JD '98); and a pennant signed by Michael Jordan and the Washington Wizards. Next year, the Law School hopes to plan an additional fundraiser to which alumni would be invited to participate and attend. If you have any specific suggestions, please contact Jim Lovelace of the Career Development Office at jlovelace@law.gwu.edu, phone (202) 4-7340.

GW Student Receives Fulbright Scholarship

Nura Maznavi, JD '03, has received a Fulbright Scholarship to spend the 2003-04 academic year in Sri Lanka. She plans to research the impact of globalization on the working conditions of low-wage factory workers in Sri Lanka and determine the extent to which voluntary codes of conduct adopted by U.S. and European buyers have resulted in labor law reformation.

Dean's "Matching Campaign" for Public Interest

Because of GW's strong interest in furthering its public interest efforts, the Law School is engaged in a special fundraising effort for its public interest programs, including the Jacob Burns Community Legal Clinics. For donations received by June 30, 2003, the Dean has offered to match, dollar for dollar, all contributions received from the Law School's classes of 1990 through 2001. Earlier this spring, a number of dedicated law students assisted by taking part in the phone campaign for this effort. For more information regarding this special campaign, please contact Jason K. Getz of the Law School Office of Advancement at jkgetz@law.gwu.edu, phone (202) 994 - 0861.

Fellowship Created in Memory of Alumna

In January 2002, GW alumna Hanna S. Cohn, JD '77, died after a difficult battle with lung cancer. For 20 years, she was the executive director of the Volunteer Legal Services Project in Rochester, N.Y. As stated on the VLSP Web site, "[d]uring her years at VLSP, Ms. Cohn developed a fledgling one-year-old pro bono lawyer program into one of the best of its kind in the country." Cohn was posthumously awarded the New York State Bar Association Root/Stimson Award for outstanding volunteer service to the community. The Public Interest Law Office of Rochester announced that it had named its first Hanna S. Cohn Equal Justice Fellow this year.

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